By Mark

I am 38 year-old male and I have been using porn for
fantasy and masturbation since I was 12. It is only
in the last year or so that I see how much it has
affected my view of women and of reality, not to
mention stolen literally thousands of hours of my
life. In a very real way, I have been in a delusional
state regarding women and the reality of sexual
relationships and boundaries. Porn will do that to
you.

From the first time I saw those flesh-colored pages
torn out of porn mags in the woods near my house and
started to collect a 'stash' of my own, I was hooked.
It was my escape. It was then that I believe I
confused sex and control with love. Throughout my teen
years, whenever I felt lonely or unsure of myself or
depressed, I turned to porn. It was always there for
me, never letting me down, but somehow ALWAYS letting
me down. A new high was a new low. And whoever says it
doesn't escalate is lying. I went from Playboy and
Penthouse all the way to the raunchy stuff, to meeting
people anonymously for sex (as an adult). I don’t want
to know how far I would have gone to get that thrill,
that escape. All the while through these years, I
really believed that the women I saw in the movies and
mags were enjoying it - that is how women are
secretly. I never thought about what they felt after
the cameras stopped. I never thought about what
circumstances brought them to such a point where they
thought this was how they came to exist. I never
thought these are people's SISTERS, DAUGHTERS, MOTHERS
- as human beings really. I couldn't believe that
because it would ruin the fantasy. If I imagined MY
sister in that scene, I would vomit. I couldn’t let
them be human. For me, porn is all about CONTROLING
HUMAN BEINGS, or I should say the ILLUSION of
controlling others. That’s what got me off. I felt so
out of control in my life and from my childhood, that
this was something I could control (which women I
would see naked or I could hit the pause button and
extend a particular image for eternity) for example.
There is no vulnerability, no risk, and therefore - no
growth. I think that for me, the illusion of
controlling women, even in masturbatory porn fantasies,
was a misguided attempt to quell the fear that I have
around women. I know now there are much better ways
to deal with these fears.

In this long battle with porn addiction, I recently
decided to try another approach to quitting. I wanted
to know the reality it all. I saw an interview on TV
once with a porn star once and while she was bragging
and claiming she was loving life, in the middle of the
interview she broke down and started crying, saying
that she hated herself and what she was doing. I never
forgot that since it shattered the fantasy. I felt
sickened that I was getting off watching women who
were obviously in a lot of pain - emotional and
physical I am sure. Fortunately, through the articles
and resources on this site, I am seeing the reality I
always knew was there, but could never admit. I have
read every article on this site in order to sicken me
to that reality. I attend 12-step meeting to deal with
this addiction and see a therapist.

But stopping porn use is just the tip of the iceberg.
What will take years is to strip away all the crud
that surrounds my view of women and why they are here
on this earth. It has affected every relationship I
have ever had with a woman. I sometimes still gaze a
little longer than I should at women and in an
inappropriate way, but I now think "this is a human
being, with friends and family, who just wants to be
happy just like me". It helps. I guess this is just a
reflex I will have to deal with for a while since my
brain has been conditioned for over 20 years to
objectify. I have also volunteered for a men against
rape group and hope I can put a small dent into a lot
of bad karma. Thank you for your site. Its been
instrumental in my letting go of this insidious and
harmful addiction. Thanks again and I hope other men
wake up too. Porn leads nowhere and creates nothing -
just destroys the lives of the people in it and the
people who watch it.

 

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